Unity, New Hampshire, is not known for much. The town of 1,671 sits in the western fringe of Sullivan County, a few miles from the Vermont border.
At the one general store are T-shirts that riff off the famous Las Vegas motto. “What happens in Unity stays in Unity — But nothing really happens here.”
In 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton put Unity on the map, briefly. The pair held a joint rally there in June 2008, days after Clinton had conceded the Democratic primary nomination following a long, often bitter fight. Each candidate received 107 votes in the town during the state’s Democratic primary in January 2008. New Hampshire primary, at 107 a piece. Sullivan County went on to lean heavily to Obama in the general election, giving him 59 percent to Republican John McCain’s 41 percent.
The first in the nation New Hampshire primary for 2012 — to see which Republican will go up against Obama — is still a long seven months away, and most residents of Unity are not yet focused on politics. But as they go about their daily lives they face issues that could inform their votes next year.